Skip to content

Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Picking One’s Own Pocket,” “Did Gurdjieff understand his own teaching?”, “What is the work?”, “Truth,” “Good and Evil,” and “Is this what the work has become?”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (6)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2021/09/08


Richard May (“May-Tzu”/“MayTzu”/“Mayzi”) is a Member of the Mega Society based on a qualifying score on the Mega Test (before 1995) prior to the compromise of the Mega Test and Co-Editor of Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society. In self-description, May states: “Not even forgotten in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), I’m an Amish yuppie, born near the rarified regions of Laputa, then and often, above suburban Boston. I’ve done occasional consulting and frequent Sisyphean shlepping. Kafka and Munch have been my therapists and allies. Occasionally I’ve strived to descend from the mists to attain the mythic orientation known as having one’s feet upon the Earth. An ailurophile and a cerebrotonic ectomorph, I write for beings which do not, and never will, exist — writings for no one. I’ve been awarded an M.A. degree, mirabile dictu, in the humanities/philosophy, and U.S. patent for a board game of possible interest to extraterrestrials. I’m a member of the Mega Society, the Omega Society and formerly of Mensa. I’m the founder of the Exa Society, the transfinite Aleph-3 Society and of the renowned Laputans Manqué. I’m a biographee in Who’s Who in the Brane World. My interests include the realization of the idea of humans as incomplete beings with the capacity to complete their own evolution by effecting a change in their being and consciousness. In a moment of presence to myself in inner silence, when I see Richard May’s non-being, ‘I’ am. You can meet me if you go to an empty room.” Some other resources include Stains Upon the Silence: something for no one, McGinnis Genealogy of Crown Point, New York: Hiram Porter McGinnis, Swines List, Solipsist Soliloquies, Board Game, Lulu blog, Memoir of a Non-Irish Non-Jew, and May-Tzu’s posterous. He discusses: “Picking One’s Own Pocket”; “Did Gurdjieff understand his own teaching?”; “What is the work?”; “Truth”; the meaning of truth in “Truth”; “Good and Evil”; so few being awake; “Is this what the work has become?”; the work, and play; identification with the work; identification with the work considered sleeping rather than waking; and Gurdjieff and Wittgenstein. 

Keywords: Blavatsky, Gurdjieff, Ouspenky, Richard May, the work, Wittgenstein.

Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Picking One’s Own Pocket,” “Did Gurdjieff understand his own teaching?”, “What is the work?”, “Truth,” “Good and Evil,” and “Is this what the work has become?”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (6)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: “Picking One’s Own Pocket” describes a context in which the truth, to an individual, gets posed as forever-incomplete, while the truth, itself, can be complete. How is this playing off the poly-agnosticism regarding different levels of knowledge in other braindroppings in Something for No One?

Richard May[1],[2]*: To me picking one’s own pocket meant simply that one cannot abrogate one’s own authority in choosing what or whom to believe, if anyone. It’s your judgement.

Jacobsen: “Did Gurdjieff understand his own teaching?” posits, based on Blavatsky’s and Gurdjieff’s overlap in writings, Gurdjieff taking from other sourcing without full knowledge of the implications of the knowledge or parts of the systems lifted from other sources. Who was Gurdjieff? Why was he important? Is he well-regarded in general or more as a fringe loon, or a excommunicated enlightened figure found, more or less, in obscurity? Same questions on Blavatsky, too, please. (These are not Zen koans.)

May: There are hundreds of books on the topic of who Gurdjieff was. No one knows who Gurdjieff was.

Gurdjieff was important only to his pupils.

He is generally regarded as a obscure fringe loon, as you suggest, except by his pupils, and Blavatsky could only aspire to be regarded as a fringe loon.

Jacobsen: “What is the work?” describes a stick with two ends, but inverts North American Judeo-Christian theological foundations. How does the devil lead to paradise and God to hell?

May: The devil may lead to paradise and God lead to hell? I do not know that there is a devil or a God. This is something Gurdjieff seemed to claim. But Gurdjieff said can lead to paradise, not does lead with certainty.

Jacobsen: “Truth” describes the where the lies of truth lie. Side questions, what was the importance of Ouspensky? What is the importance of Blavatsky? What was the importance of Gurdjieff? Because… they seem neither well-known nor well-understood.

May: Ouspensky is generally regarded as Gurdjieff’s most important pupil. Otherwise Ouspensky had no importance. Ouspensky wrote coherent English. Blavatsky and Gurdjieff had no importance except to their pupils. Blavatsky and Gurdjieff were neither well-known nor well-understood.

Jacobsen: What is “truth,” in that sense,” as stated in “Truth”? What is truth and falsehood in that sense? What does this state about human nature with defilement of truth as necessary for truth to come forth and be heard properly?

May: Gurdjieff seemed to be saying that humans as they were could not understand truth. Truth could only be understood by most humans if presented as a lie.

Jacobsen: “Good and Evil” explains the nature of good and evil as first requiring a realization of them. How do good and evil only exist for a few?

May: That good and evil only exist for a few was a claim made by Gurdjieff. I don’t know how this is true, or if the claim even has any meaning.

Jacobsen: Why are so few awake? What is “awake” in this sense? Is it akin to enlightenment in some philosophies of Buddhism?

May: Why are so few awake? What is the biological utility in an evolutionary context of awakening? Maybe awakening has no biological utility. I think awake may be equivalent to enlightenment in some Buddhist philosophical schools. But I may be incorrect.

Jacobsen: “Is this what the work has become?” talks about the work. First, what is the work?

May: The work is Gurdjieff’s system for awakening humans from the condition of being what he called sleeping machines or unconscious automata.

Jacobsen: Second, why does it have to be work? Why not play?

May: Referring to Gurdjieff’s system as work rather than play suggests that it may be difficult to awaken. But I did not choose the terminology of work or play. Supposedly the sheep in the folk tale of the magician illustrate the illusions of hypnotic sleep.

Jacobsen: The magician sounds sadistic and cruel. What is the identification with the work?

May: Supposedly the sheep in the folk tale of the magician illustrate the illusions of hypnotic sleep.

Jacobsen: How is this identification with the work considered sleeping rather than waking?

May: Identification in any form is considered to be sleep.

Jacobsen: Is the act of identifying the work akin to the universe seeing its own back, so as to mess with the still waters of the awakened — so to speak? By act of observation, the work is broken. One is no longer awake but asleep with an even deeper illusion.

May: I don’t understand your question regarding “the universe seeing its own back.”

Gurdjieff may have taught that one could sometimes awaken if only for a moment.

Ludwig Wittgenstein also noted this changing quality of human attention. He wrote that we may occasionally awaken for a moment sufficiently to realize that we have been asleep and dreaming.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society.”

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2021:; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2022:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: